Category Archives: Promotion

Want Your Bed and Breakfast on TV?

bed and breakfast on tv

Stephanie Hernandez

If you want your bed and breakfast, hotel, or guest house on television, keep reading.  Stephanie Hernandez, from the television production house TwoFour in Plymouth, United Kingdom, is currently trying to find people who are starting up a new hotel or bed and breakfast in the UK and Europe. They are very interested in finding people that have bought a location and want to change or remodel the property.

TwoFour is a UK independent media group that was founded in 1989 by Charles Wace, a former TV news producer. In 2013 it was named the largest true independent media group in the UK and the largest producer of documentary content, employing over 350 people internationally and turning over £58 million in 2013. With headquarters in Plymouth, TwoFour has offices across the globe including London and Los Angeles.

TwoFour is currently casting for a brand new series called “Our Dream Hotel” and they are shooting it over the course of the next year, to go out on C5 in the Autumn of 2016. Each episode will feature one couple/family’s renovation/redesign/reimagining of a building, as they transform it into a hotel, bed and breakfast, or guest house. They are looking to find three such stories in the UK, and film three abroad (Europe).

In an ideal world they would follow each renovation from the very start to the very end – but they are realistic enough to know that life isn’t like that! So, instead, they are looking for projects they can join whilst there is still some degree of work to be done (at least 50%), so that they can follow the journey all the way along to opening.

Here are some of the questions they would ask the people interested in being cast for the show:

  • Tell me a bit about yourself and your family
  • Why this house? Why this ‘project’?
  • Have you had much experience in either building renovation or the  hospitality industry before now?
  • Can you talk me through the work you have had done, what needs to be done, and what the major points on your schedule are?
  • When do you hope to be open, and in what capacity?
  • What do you currently feel most daunted by?
  • How are you funding this build, and how important is it that the venture is a commercial success?”

If you’re interested in finding out more, then simply email Stephanie directly at Stephanie.Hernandez@twofour.co.uk Thank you, Stephanie, for asking me to share this with my Bed and Breakfast Blogging readers!

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3 Autumn Bed and Breakfasts

autumn bed and breakfasts

Autumn Bed and Breakfasts features three United States bed and breakfasts with “Autumn” in its name.  Starting with Autumn Leaves Bed and Breakfast.  Located in Anacortes, Washington, this scenic inn is around two hours drive from the Seattle Airport between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia.

There are three spacious bedrooms to choose from and all of which come with free wireless internet, one queen size bed (that sleeps up to 2 people), gas fireplace with remote control, private bathroom with an air-jetted tub, 40″ flat-screen HDTV as well as bathrobes, slippers, and hairdryer.  Enjoy water and mountain views as well as their fabulous garden.

Their logo fits beautifully with their name:

autumn bed and breakfasts

Autumn Pond B&B rests on three quiet country acres, surrounded by panoramic views of the majestic Cascades. Their Leavenworth, Washington location is perfect for a brisk walk to downtown or a quiet evening stroll to the Ski Hill area where wild flowers will delight your senses.  They offer five guest cozy bedrooms with the following names:

  • Country Western Suite
  • Bear Room
  • Sleepy Pooch Room
  • Duck Room
  • Birdhouse Room

autumn bed and breakfasts

 

Their private pond (below) provides guests with memorable entertainment where they can become friends with their hand fed ducks. Guests can unwind in a wooden swing by the pond and watch the wild birds in their natural setting.

 

 

 

 

autumn bed and breakfasts

 

Autumn Ridge Cottages are located just two miles south of Downtown Historic Lexington, Virginia. The three cottages are situated on a forty-acre ridge surrounded by grassy fields and woodlands. Enjoy the Blue Ridge Mountains from the picnic table at the end of the ridge! Wildlife is abundant with deer, wild turkey, rabbits and birds of all types.

 

 

 

autumn bed and breakfasts

The location is ideal in its convenience to Lexington while maintaining a secluded atmosphere. The cottages have been carefully situated so that each one is not visible from the others. Autumn Ridge is a setting that allows for peace and serenity.  Although the cottages are new construction, they are designed with that old, rustic mountain cabin feeling of the past.

 

 

autumn bed and breakfasts

 

The exterior is clapboard siding with cedar trim. All cabins have furnished front porches. The interiors are all wood-paneled, tastefully furnished and comfortably outfitted with kitchens and living room space.  Relax and enjoy the view!

 

 

4 Ways to Share the Fall Festivities

DECORATE

Do you decorate your inn to look like the Fall season?  Take inspiration from Autumn Pond B&B. Here is a list of items or areas that could inspire autumn decorating:

  • Blankets
  • Candles
  • Centerpiece
  • Dining Room Table
  • Dinnerware
  • Front Door
  • Lanterns
  • Mantel
  • Picture Frames
  • Pillows
  • Porch
  • Topiary
  • Vase
  • Wreath

List of props:

  • Acorns
  • Apples
  • Baskets
  • Birdhouses
  • Broom
  • Corn husks
  • Cornucopia
  • Dried flowers and herbs
  • Firewood
  • Gourds
  • Hay
  • Leaves
  • Letters that spell “FALL” or “GIVE THANKS”
  • Pears
  • Pine cones
  • Pumpkins
  • Rake
  • Scarecrows
  • Squash
  • Wheel barrow

MENU

Does your menu reflect the changing of the leaves?  There are so many tasty things to cook. Look on any recipe search engine by typing in phrases like “fall breakfast” or “fall dessert”:

PACKAGES

Do you offer any fall season packages to your guests?  They could include tickets to a corn maze or pumpkin patch.  A gift certificate to a local restaurant known for offering festive Fall feasts!  Your only limit is your creativity.  Think about what your local area is known for and the type of guests you attract.  Consider that as you design your packages.

PROMOTE

Does your area offer any local Fall Festivals or other seasonal events?  Check out this list of the Top Fall Festivals in the United States.  Be sure to promote these festivals and autumn events on your website and in person with your guests!

YOUR TURN

What does your inn do to celebrate the autumn season?  Please comment below and share a link to your bed and breakfast inn.  Let others know what you do to make this season more inviting to your bed and breakfast guests.

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Bed and Breakfast Promotions

bed and breakfast promotions

Bed and breakfast promotions include marketing special deals and packages throughout the year. These opportunities include various holidays, seasons, and other special times.

This can be a chance for your bed and breakfast to stand out and show its own personality.  Innkeepers who are creative and thoughtful can really improve the experiences of their guests.

 

The benefits of staying at a bed and breakfast include your guests getting a break, reducing their stress, and focusing on strengthening their relationships.  Guests also experience the beauty of your local area as well as enjoy the luxury of your gourmet breakfasts and plush amenities.

We have talked about the advantages of offering guests special packages.  Now we will concentrate on developing specific promotions.  You can entice with discounts (lower price), complimentary services (free massage or tasting hour), and free upgrades (such as rooms with more amenities). 

Create a Sense of Urgency and Give a Call-To-Action:

  • Hurry!  Offer ends…
  • This weekend only!
  • Back for a limited time!
  • Last chance to…

Your bed and breakfast promotions can be put on your website and blog as well as social media and email marketing.  If you assign promo codes, you can track how they found about the promotion.  A bed and breakfast can have the same promotion, but give it different promo codes depending upon where the guest saw it.  For example, if it were a patriotic holiday promotion (Memorial Day, Independence Day, or Veteran’s Day), it could have the following

Festive PROMO CODES to Identify Where They Saw Your Promotion:

  • “Red, White, and Blue” (website/blog)
  • “Let Freedom Ring” (Facebook)
  • “Home of the Brave” (Google+)
  • “Star Spangled Banner” (Twitter)
  • “Lady Liberty” (Pinterest)

Guests Enjoy Holiday Promotions Throughout the Year:

  • New Year: New You (could be yoga retreat or vegetarian B&B)
  • Be My Valentine
  • At the End of the Rainbow (St. Patrick’s Day)
  • Celebrating Mom and Dad
  • Thanksgiving Getaway
  • December to Remember

Season Promotions Could Be Titled:

  • “Spring Forward” or “Have a Spring Fling”
  • “Summer Sun Adventure” or “Dog Days of Summer” (for pet friendly B&B’s)
  • “Fall Back in Love” or “Autumn Leaves”
  • “Winter Wonderland” or “Ski the Slopes” (for ski lodges)

Promote During Special Times:

  • Last Minute Promotions (keep rooms consistently booked)
  • Midweek Discounts (encourage guests to stay during the week)
  • Weekend Deals (popular time for guests to visit)

Bed and breakfasts that have blogs can write a blog post to explain more of the fun details associated with your specific promotion.  The fresh content from regular blog posts offers a great way to become more visible online.  Greater online visibility means not only more web visitors, but also a consistent source of regular bookings. Innkeepers who do not have the time for (or interest in) writing a blog can contact Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging.

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

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Visual Storytelling: Tips

 

visual storytelling tips

 

This is the last of the series of blog posts discussing the book The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand by Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio.  This features their smart tips for social media photography.

 

 

Visual storytelling tips and social media photography tips:

  • Up your resolution to the highest resolution possible
  • Collages need to be of similar resolution
  • Divide your images into thirds either horizontally or vertically
  • Align your image slightly off center to make it more engaging
  • Variety matters, use a range of angles and setups
  • Take more pictures than you think you need
  • Frame your shot with less cluttered backgrounds
  • Use close-cropped images
  • Work the angles
  • Shine bright with lighting and filters
  • Show don’t sell
  • Celebrate occasions
  • Share great quotes
  • Include photos related to your company’s lifestyle
  • Inspire through the use of images by showcasing your company’s lifestyle, values, and opinions
  • Show how your products and services contribute to the greater good
  • Encourage emotion by featuring a sentimental side when appropriate
  • Propel action into a still image
  • Sprinkle in humor and have a little fun
  • Embrace creativity
  • Not all pictures have to have only one item
  • Go behind the scenes to make your customers feel like part of your brand

This is the conclusion to the blog series about the book The Power of Visual Storytelling.  I highly recommend this book.  I literally took twenty pages of handwritten notes from information in this book!  A special thank you to the authors Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio for letting me share some of their book.  I am not being compensated for this review, I just really think this book is great any business looking to grow their online marketing.

Affiliate Disclaimer: The link to the book is is an affiliate link. If you click and make a purchase I will earn a commission from Amazon.  I only recommend what I know and love.

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

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Visual Storytelling: Responses

visual storytelling responses

Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio, authors of the book The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand remind us that anything can happen at a moment’s notice online. Companies need to identify common occurrences, both positive and negative.  It means looking for opportunities to create visual storytelling responses all around us.  Some strategies include:

 

  • Understand the most important factors that can influence sales and customer leads
  • Weather may be an important theme to craft content around
  • At key times of the year, companies can announce awards, rankings, events, speeches, partnerships, and make other announcements
  • Understand the most frequently asked service inquiries and comments, both positive and negative
  • Develop a robust content library to allow time for real-time opportunities
  • The best storytellers play off their audience responses to hit the message home
  • Extend the life of conversations and engagement as long as it is relevant
  • Look at the content fans are sharing each day

While on the topic of user generated content, there is a higher barrier to engagement if it is not natural for fans to share visual content.  Reward sharing behavior with a campaign, contest, and/or rewards.  Look for themes in the most common types of photos, videos, hashtags, and sentiment.

Choose a clear call to action such as a unique hashtag available across all social media channels.  Make full disclosure to customers how and where their photos and videos will be shared.  Highlight examples to show a range of creativity.  Give rewards and recognition by having an “image of the week” or randomly sending a thank you.

Customers can share their own content through videos shared on social networks like YouTube, Instagram, and the Vine.  Look at your content calendar to determine which video(s) will help tell your visual story in a way that other media cannot.  Think about your target audience, desired end goals, and what resources are available.  Evaluate the needs of your audience and show off your personality.  Mix up the content to a variety of different types and lengths of videos. Common videos include:

  • Announcements
  • Behind-the-scenes
  • Case studies
  • Celebrity partnerships
  • Community involvement
  • Company overview
  • Demos
  • Event highlights
  • FAQs
  • Goals
  • How-to
  • Live streams
  • Office tours
  • Parodies
  • Testimonials
  • Video blogs
  • Visual portfolios

Fan shared content as well as company made videos can show another side to a business. The key is to make the most of what customers are saying about you.

Affiliate Disclaimer: The link to the book is is an affiliate link. If you click and make a purchase I will earn a commission from Amazon.  I only recommend what I know and love.

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

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Visual Storytelling: Shaping

visual storytelling shaping

 

According to the book The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand by Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio, companies need to do visual storytelling shaping.  Each piece of content needs to have a clear theme and point of view as well as a take away message for the reader.

 

Content needs to be aligned with who you are as a company: voice, personality, and values. Once woven together, these themes shape your story.  It is important to list your goals and determine how visual content can help achieve them.  Ask yourself, if your company were a person, what would it look like in real life?

Embrace social media’s more personable, human side.  Look for the most commonly discussed conversation themes from your online consumers.  Shape your story and identify major themes to craft your visual content mix.  Look at your goals, company voice, and customer feedback by social media platform.

Determine Your Visual Content Mix:

  • The magic is in the mix to keep storytelling fresh
  • It allows you to deliver more personalized content to target audiences across different platforms
  • Evaluate your desired frequency per platform for posts, tweets, pins, etc.
  • Have a formula and clear plan of what steps you will take
  • Frequency varies by company and by social media channel
  • Quality content always trumps quantity and volume
  • Content must be interesting, important, and relevant to your audience
  • The usual shelf life of a tweet is considered an hour at most
  • The shelf life of a Facebook post is around 24 hours
  • Prioritize by social media platform the most important content themes that go into crafting your visual story
  • The mix needs to balance what is important from an ongoing visual storytelling perspective with goals, current events, questions, and general conversation from your customers
  • Content goals will likely change each month depending upon how much news your company has or tweets your making in response to fan engagement
  • Content should aim to be mostly upbeat, fun, motivating, and engaging
  • Outlining content themes makes it easy to identify what messages will be best conveyed as photos, videos, infographics, presentations, etc.

Authors Walter and Gioglio remind us to be listening and responding to what is being said about our company as well as learning the most commonly asked questions.  When we know that, companies can better respond to their own target audience.  This means setting goals and developing a strategy.  Our content will adjust in response to real time as we get live social media feedback.

Affiliate Disclaimer: The link to the book is an affiliate link. If you click and make a purchase I will earn a commission from Amazon.  I only recommend what I know and love.

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

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Visual Storytelling: Tumblr

visual storytelling tumblr

 

We have been promoting the book The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand by Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio. This particular blog post will give a sneak peak into the authors comments about Tumblr.

 

For those not familiar with it, Tumblr is a social media channel that allows users to quickly reblog posts (texts, images, links, quotes, music, or videos) by others. Recently, Yahoo! purchased Tumblr for $1.1 billion. Tumblr is for quick visual inspiration and consumer lust. Users can only add comments if they reblog your post.

Tumblr Statistics:

  • 50% of posts on Tumblr are photos
  • Total unique worldwide visitors are more than 117 million
  • 52% of Tumblr visitors are male
  • 46.5% of Tumblr visitors are 18-34 years old
  • 35.2% of Tumblr visitors have a household income of greater than $100,000 per year
  • The average users spends 1 hr. 38 min. of time each month on the website doing nothing, but consuming content
  • The average Tumbler visit lasts 34 minutes

Tumblr Strategies:

  • Follow other Tumblr users and reblog relevant content
  • Post, promote, and participate in the Tumblr community
  • Let pictures tell the story on your Tumblr account, with text being secondary
  • The best time to post is between 7-10 pm EST on Monday through Thursday and anytime on Sunday
  • Use relevant tags so that your images show up in searches
  • Reblog plenty of content from other users
  • Keep a focus on your goals and repost only what is relevant to your message
  • Have a strategy and calendar to keep a steady stream of quality content
  • Keep a good mix of product info, lifestyle posts, and other content to not appear overly commercial
  • Combine visual, text, quotes, audio, and video in your feed
  • Stay consistent with tags and use a handful of “official” tags
  • Keep content fresh and post often
  • View analytics to see what sort of posts drive the most traffic, but still post a variety
  • Spend some time getting to know that platform and the kinds of content that people post

A Tumblr blog can be incorporated directly into a corporate website, which is great for search engine ranking. Businesses can use Tumblr as an overview of what is on their website.

Affiliate Disclaimer: The link to the book is is an affiliate link. If you click and make a purchase I will earn a commission from Amazon.  I only recommend what I know and love.

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

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The Art of Social Selling

the art of social selling

 

I highly recommend Shannon Belew’s book called The Art of Social Selling: Finding and Engaging Customers on Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, and Other Social Networks. Belew says the power has shifted from the brand to the consumer.  Marketing has become a two-way conversation with the customer. The art of social selling is based entirely on your ability to build relationships.

 

Did you know that over one BILLION people are active on social networks? Thus, it is extremely important that you know where your customers are hanging out.

Shannon Belew defines “social selling” as the identification, targeting, and reaching out to prospective and existing customers through social media channels and social communities in an effort to engage them in conversations that result in a potentially mutually beneficial relationship.  This means being more social (listening and conversing about the customer’s needs) and less traditional selling.  The heart of social selling is relationship building.

This book reveals Belew’s ten most important rules for online social interactions:

1) Be genuine: your social networking persona should be an extension of your real persona

2) Listen, listen, listen: to truly hear what the customer is saying so you can present a viable solution you must find and monitor conversations that relate to your prospective customer’s needs, concerns, and interests with the goal of remaining relevant to your customers

3) Be responsive: to customer-related complaints and concerns voiced across social media channels

4) Follow the leader: follow group guidelines, watch how members participate and interact with one another

5) Tailor the conversation: find common ground and share information relevant to your audience

6) Be helpful: offer educational opportunities, general support, and even inspiration

7) Identify the enter and exit signs: know if it is polite to enter the online interaction and make sure to exit gracefully

8) Maintain separation of professional and personal: make sure what you share is suitable for both audiences

9) Be consistent: give people a clear expectation of who you are and what your area of expertise is

10) Admit when you are wrong: be willing to apologize, it is a sign of strength and goodwill

Shannon Belew’s concept of “unselling:

  • Unselling is a process that occurs over time
  • Requires consistent interaction with your prospects via social media
  • This establishes your credibility as a good resource
  • Identify and interact with industry influencers
  • Be a thought leader to build social influence
  • Embrace consultative sales in which you are developing conversations that educate and assist the prospect through the buying process
  • This opens the door to an increased amount of sharing
  • This increases the comfort level of prospects as well as puts you in the role of expert

Belew talks about word of mouth marketing.  Social shoppers are not only influenced by their friends and family, but by perfect strangers, too.  Encourage your happy and satisfied customers to provide online testimonials.  Include your links on thank-you pages and emails. Respond to negative reviews quickly.  Thank customers publicly for their positive reviews.

In this book, Shannon Belew cites a Technorati Report that stated that blogs are the third-most influential digital or online resource and the fifth most trusted resource on the internet.  Blogs are great for sharing on social media.  Plus, points made in a blog post can be posted or tweeted on social media.  Later in the book, Belew gives specific tips about using each of the major social media channels.  This is an incredible resource for business owners.

Affiliate Disclaimer: The link to the book is an affiliate link. If you click and make a purchase I will earn a commission from Amazon.  I only recommend what I know and love.

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

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